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The Secret Adversary (Tommy and Tuppence Series #1)

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  18,895 ratings  ·  1,288 reviews
After WW1, childhood pals Tommy Beresford and "Tuppence" Prudence Cowley, lack money and prospects, become adventurers for the British Government. Rich American Julius P. Hersheimmer, powerful Mr Whittington, and an evil mastermind's conspiracy all seek Jane Finn, given papers vital to peace by an agent at the sinking of the Luisitania. Kidnaps, escapes.
Paperback, 268 pages
Published July 1st 2008 by Waking Lion Press (first published 1922)
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One for the Money by Janet EvanovichThe No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall SmithCrocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth PetersChocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne FlukeThe Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
Cozy Mystery Series
15th out of 584 books — 1,611 voters
And Then There Were None by Agatha ChristieMurder on the Orient Express by Agatha ChristieThe Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha ChristieDeath on the Nile by Agatha ChristieThe A.B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie
Best Agatha Christie Book
21st out of 95 books — 741 voters

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Community Reviews

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A short and entertaining read-- entertaining as much for its mystery as for the laughable sensationalism of its topic. Very timely for 1922-- all about bolsheviks and revolutions and Labour Party members and secret treaties, with a hero and heroine full of jolly upper-class Britishness and levity, if not imagination, in tough spots. Very characteristic of an era.

The mystery, though constructed out of sensationalistic and dated elements, has an excellent form. We are told quite frankly in the fir
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 3* of five for both book and movie

The Publisher Says: After WW1, childhood pals Tommy Beresford and "Tuppence" Prudence Cowley, lack money and prospects, become adventurers for the British Government. Rich American Julius P. Hersheimmer, powerful Mr Whittington, and an evil mastermind's conspiracy all seek Jane Finn, given papers vital to peace by an agent at the sinking of the Luisitania. Kidnaps, escapes.

My Review: The novel is a dated piece, lots of hoopla about Bolsheviks and the Gen
Marts  (Thinker)
Being the first Agatha Christie novel that I've read in eons I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed this tale. All in all it wasn't that mysterious per say but enjoyable nonetheless.
Tommy Beresford and Prudence Cowley called Tuppence, childhood friends who happen upon each other after the war (thats WWI) are both looking for jobs and start brainstorming some ideas finally deciding to put an advertisement in the paper saying they're willing to do 'anything' but with terms and conditions of course.
First Second Books
I've always been more of a fan of Christie's detective-less stories with average people thrown into crazy situations, fighting to solve the mystery around them before it eats them up. Though this book stars Tommy and Tuppence, who later went on to become recurring detective characters of hers—though hardly ever Poriot or Marple status. This is their first appearance: two naïve 20-somethings who have no clue what is happening and are merely looking for a way to make a quick buck. It has much of t ...more
Agatha Christie meets Enid Blyton's Famous Five for a ripping adventure yarn. Or something like that anyway. Nothing like Poirot or Marple, Tommy and Tuppence are young, almost childlike in their approach. It's exactly like you'd imagine the Famous Five would treat the case - lots of excitable running about, not a lot of appropriate respect for the fact that they are in serious danger for most of the novel...

Tommy and Tuppence, the two detectives are demobbed after the war and find themselves wi
Dreadful. The mystery itself is far from mysterious—I had it figured out very early on—but the tone in which it is written is what really sinks this book. The unions and “common people” distrust the government only because they are manipulated into it by criminals, the government itself is filled with kind and upstanding men, and the criminals are cowards who enjoy writing grand declarations of their dastardly ways. Pah!
The only saving grace to the book is the pair of Tuppence and Tommy, althoug
William Thomas
Have I gushed before in any of my reviews about how much I love the TV show 'Murder, She Wrote'? I feel like I had to have already gone on about how happy it makes me, however remedial and rudimentary most of the plots might seem. We should all know by now that there are many pleasures in a book aside from the plot- otherwise reading a succinct review would sate most of our appetites. So it isn't really about the story, with MSW, but the players involved, and the interactions between.

So it is w

This was the inaugural selection of my newly formed book club, which consists of various female members of my family scattered all across the country. We chose this book for a number of reasons.

•It was a free download from GoodReads, which made it readily available to everyone.

•It was a short read of only 190 pages, so everyone should have time to read it.

•It was written by a well known and very popular author.

•It was highly rated by the GoodReads community, with an average rating of 3.80.

**edited 12/04/13

Tommy and Tuppence, two bright young things recently demobbed from WWI activities, meet by chance and sit down to discuss their lives over a cup of tea. Neither have fared well in the post-war world, but that hasn't dimmed Tuppence's sangfroid. Prodded by Tuppence, the two decide to start list themselves as "Young Adventurers, Ltd:" and put a notice in the Times:

Two young adventurers for hire. Willing to do anything, go anywhere. Pay must be good. No unreasonable offer refused.
I imagine that this book would have disappeared from memory had it not been the second Agatha Christie. It would probably have been categorized as a romp, or the equivalent term in the early 1920s, when first published. The story is completely unbelievable and yet it finely captures a moment in time. The men and women who went off to the First World War have returned home, changed, to an England that has also changed. The book captures the dislocation of life at the time and the nervous feeling ...more
Wow, this is amazingly good.Hard to put down.Full of action written in such attentive detail that we have come to expect from an Agatha Christie story.

A young Tommy and Tuppence are such loveable characters.Post WW1, down on their luck and looking for adventure.
Advertising themselves as-
'Two young adventurers for hire. Willing to do anything, go anywhere. Pay must be good. No unreasonable offer refused', fancying themselves as sleuths.
Quickly, they become embroiled in a case of mystery involving
Un po’ sullo stile di P.G. Wodehouse. Molto “inglese” e alquanto improbabile. Non avevo mai letto nulla prima di questa coppia di investigatori creata dalla Christie, Tommy e Tuppence. Non mi è piaciuto granché, anzi, per dirla schietta, mi sono alquanto annoiata. Sembra un romanzo per bambini adattato affinché vada bene anche per degli adulti. Ben lontano dagli standard della Christie.
Clever mystery, and I did enjoy seeing Tommy and Tuppence get together, however, it was a bit campy. I suppose that was the general attitude of books written in the 1920s. I do love Agatha Christie though I don't think this is one of her better ones.
Tommy and Tuppence differ from Poirot and Marple (Christie's better-known detectives) in several crucial ways. They age at the same rate of their publications, with later novels set when they have been married for years and their grown children have left them. Their youth compared with the aforementioned detectives, as well as Tommy's war experiences and job, allow them to have more exciting and dangerous adventures than either Poirot or Marple.

This first adventure is definitely full of adventur
Lisa (Harmonybites)
May 28, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No One
I am an Agatha Christie fan--honest I am. I can number as favorites And Then There Were None, Murder on the Orient Express, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and Death Comes at the End all of which I'd rate at five stars. Even books I don't count as favorites I usually consider a fun read worth the time, but I just couldn't find the plot of this one credible enough to stick it out.

This is the first "Tommy and Tuppence" adventure. Christie didn't write as many mysteries with them as Hercule Poirot or
Mr. Brown est le deuxième roman écrit par Christie. En toute honnêteté, ça se ressent un peu au niveau de l’intrigue. Il y est question d’espionnage, de complots internationaux (mais cela reste toujours un peu flou et assez caricatural) et ce n’est pas là que je préfère Agatha Christie. En outre, les suspects sont si peu nombreux qu’il est très difficile de passer à côté (en général, même si je trouve le coupable, Christie embrouille tant les pistes que je ne suis jamais sûre tant les motivation ...more
So, I'm rediscovering my love for Agatha Christie...mainly because the library near my house doesn't have much of a selection of books on tape. I ADORED Agatha Christie when I was in middle school, and it's fun to re-experience my complete inability to figure out who the bad guy is - even if I already read the book before. Also, I've realized that Agatha Christie probably was a key player in my interest in human nature and psychology. Until I read her books more recently, I didn't realize all of ...more
(A similar version of this review can be found at

This was a fun book with likeable characters and a fast-moving plot. In the story, Tommy and Tuppence, old friends, run into each other after not having seen each other in a few years. They hang out for a bit and find out they are both poor and unemployed. So, naturally, they decide to be adventurers. They discuss how they will go about it and decide to place an ad in the paper.

"Now listen how's this? 'Tw
I am a big Agatha Christie fan, but I normally stick to the more well-known Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple mysteries. I am so glad I decided to branch out, because Tommy and Tuppence were a delight! This book was so much fun to read that I had trouble putting it down.

In the story (I promise not to include any spoilers!!) Tommy and Tuppence are old friends who bump into each other again. Having a spot of tea together and catching up, they share their money woes and decide--just for fun!--to embar
The Secret Adversary was Agatha Christie’s second novel, first published in 1922. It is also the first novel to feature the duo Tommy and Tuppence. Tommy and Tuppence are no doubt the least successful of Agatha Christie’s fictional sleuths –as they feature in only four novels and a collection of short stories. The secret Adversary is an engaging little story – full of 1920’s silliness it I suppose of its time and it is an early Christie novel, written long before those novels which really made h ...more
The Secret Adversary is a “Tommy and Tuppence” novel, about two friends who, hard-up for employment after World War I, form the Young Adventurers Ltd. Tuppence’s idea is to be criminals-for-hire, but instead they become enmeshed in an international spy thriller involving the Lusitania, a missing girl, vital documents, and the elusive criminal mastermind, “Mr. Brown.”

This was a delight of a book, which played to all my Anglophile tendencies. It’s so very, very British–or rather, a certain stereot
Laurel Young
How cute is this book?? It immerses the reader thoroughly in 1920's England, with Tommy and Tuppence calling everyone (including each other) "old bean" and so forth. It's a departure from the classic mystery of its predecessor, The Mysterious Affair at Styles--although there is certainly a mystery with a twist worth of Agatha, there is also a heaping helping of adventure and romance. The romance is delightful--Tommy and Tuppence are irresistable. The adventure is a little much for me: all the wi ...more
I found this Nadia May narration much enhanced my enjoyment of this first Tommy and Tuppence book. Also, my admiration for Christie's writing is greater with this reread as she managed to keep me guessing even though I thought I remembered the solution. Her red herrings were so plausible I kept second-guessing myself thinking I had mis-remembered it!
This is different from my usual Agatha Christie fare, I've read plenty of Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple but none of the Tommy and Tuppence which are more spy novels than detective stories. After the war when London had more people than jobs two old friend meet by chance and form a company “Young Adventurers Ltd.” ‘willing to do anything, go anywhere’, and it lands them in all sorts of trouble.

The action is fast paced with plenty of twists, if you decide to read this remember it was written in 1
NO SPOILERS!! This story was copyrighted in 1922. My copy is from 1986. I've read this before, but could not remember any details. The villain is pretty obvious, though AC tries with her usual red herrings & false clues to divert your attention the wrong way. Lots of 1920s slang & talk of revolution.
This is a Tommy & Tuppence story (their first!). T&T were not quite as popular as Mrs. Marple or Poirot. They make a cute couple though & they decide in post WW1 London that une
This mystery novel by Agatha Christie was really awesome. Even though the pace was rather slow, the spunky, yet somewhat clueless protagonists definitely make this book worthwhile. Somewhat reminiscent of Sherlock Homes and filled with plot twists, The Secret Adversary is a mystery that keeps you guessing.

One of the reasons the book is so good is because of the funny, believable protagonists. Tommy and Tuppence (a nick-name for Prudence) are two young adults who have been friends forever. They
A quick and enjoyable mystery by Ms. Christie. The 1920s setting, characters and dialogue are especially entertaining. I've always been a big fan of Poirot and Ms. Marple but this is my first Tommy and Tuppence adventure. They are lighter in tone and just plain fun. I'd recommend this to anyone looking for a light, engaging adventure.
This book was really bad. Not unreadable, but really bad. Maybe if it had been Encyclopedia Brown and not Agatha Christie, and I was 8 and not in my 30s, I would've liked it. Maybe. So all in all, it's no Celestine Prophecy [The Worst Book of All Time], but there's still certainly no reason to read it.
I'm not sure why, maybe because it's dated, maybe it was because it was one of her first books, but I couldn't get through this one. Maybe I'll pick it up in summer - disappointed :-(
Sean Kennedy
A rather entertaining bit of tosh, despite the questionable morals concerning the importance and sanctity of unions. It's all a bit "I say, old chum" and "tip top teree!" but it kind of adds to the charm.
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Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan.

Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller was born in Torquay, Devon, England, U.K., as the youngest of three. The Millers had two other children: Margaret Frary Miller (1879–1950), called Madge, who was eleven years Agatha's senior, and Louis Montant Miller (1880
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Other Books in the Series

Tommy and Tuppence Series (8 books)
  • Partners in Crime (Tommy and Tuppence #2)
  • N or M? (Tommy and Tuppence, #3)
  • By the Pricking of My Thumbs (Tommy and Tuppence #4)
  • Postern of Fate (Tommy and Tuppence #5)
  • The House of Lurking Death: A Short Story (Tommy & Tuppence)
  • The Case of the Missing Lady (Tommy & Tuppence Series Short)
  • The Adventure of the Sinister Stranger: A Short Story (Tommy & Tuppence)
And Then There Were None Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10) The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot #1) Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple, #1) The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot, #4)

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“Never tell all you know—not even to the person you know best.” 286 likes
“To all those who lead monotonous lives in the hope that they may experience at second hand the delights and dangers of adventure.

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